Farouk Campbell

Jitney at the National Theatre

Pittsburgh. Late 1970s. Becker runs a local mini cab or jitney service that is threatened with closure. So begins August Wilson's deftly crafted drama focusing on the Black-American experience.

Instantly drawing us into the lives, rivalries and interactions of the men who drive the cabs, Wilson captures the aspirations and struggles of a disenfranchised class.

Framed within the context of particular time and lexicon and amidst the struggle of everyday existence such as alcoholism, pettiness between individuals, relationship problems and the dramatic meeting between a father and his once murdering son, Wilson feeds us human pain.

With a superb portrayal from this all-American cast Jitney is pleasurable to watch and concludes in "fighting spirit" fashion. The deeply emotional undercurrent is tempered with sassy humour and the back drop of a recreated street complete with cars is both realistic and spectacular.

Jitney, with its acute observations, is intensely emotional and intensely human.

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